Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Merry Little Christmas...


It's Saturday morning, a week before Christmas. It snowed last night and it's still coming down, I'm sipping my morning coffee and watching it out the window. I would say that all is calm but Josephine is awake too so that would be a lie. Oskar is snug in his bed still, pooped out from having friends over to decorate Christmas cookies last night. The girls and Jeff are still out cold as well. So, I'm pretty much alone with my thoughts, a dangerous thing.

Christmas shopping is done, are you finished too? I'm almost sad about that, I would kind of like to go one more time into the hustle-bustle, I know that probably makes me a little deranged. I do have a little more sewing to do, I made all the kids pajamas this year. Oh, and Christmas cards. They're not done. Shame on me. I'll finish them up as soon as I'm done with this post, if I mail them today they should all get there on time. You know, normally I love sending them but I have to admit, this year, bleh. I guess it's because I'm still without good news to report, Jeff is still looking for a job and I'll have to explain to some why the card is coming from PA this year. I'm just so tired of talking about it. Not to be bah-humbug, but honestly. So...I will probably sign a lot of them, Love, The Larsons and be done with it. Which should make it go a lot faster, actually.

The kids will have a nice Christmas, they are all at easy ages to shop for. Toys for the little ones and clothes, clothes, clothes for the girls. Oskar asks me every day if it's Christmas. Josie has no clue what's going on, she just loves the "balls" on the Christmas tree. I have to keep her away from it or I will see them rolling across the floor every once in a while. She has undecorated it and I have redecorated it I don't know how many times. Still in diapers, she has also taken a liking to pooping while standing by the tree, I think she becomes one with mother nature or something. Wonder what she will do when the tree is gone? Oh, well there is still the fake ficus in entry way.

Well, I hope that every one has a wonderful Christmas. I hope that you have time to enjoy it and are able to discern the folly from the true meaning of this season. For me it's a sentimental time of year. I miss my family tremendously, I don't see them enough. This year there are many families that are facing new hardships, the future is scary and uncertain, they are all in my prayers. I know Christmas is about celebrating our Lords birth but lately I often think about him returning as well, do you? Prayers for blessings to everyone, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Homemade Air Freshener

I've had so many people visit my blog for my Homemade Glass Cleaner that I thought I would post a few more homemade ideas that I know. I'm not very big on the store bought air fresheners and plug ins. I get headaches from most of the scents and they always seem to concentrate in just one area. Plus, I'm always worried that the little ones will pull them out of the outlets and play with them. So, when I want to fill the house with a nice smell, I make my own air freshener.

If you have a crockpot it works the best for this idea because you don't have to watch it as closely. Fill either a crockpot or a large pot on the stove with water and then add any of the following ingredients in any combination, the spices can either be whole or ground, whatever you have on hand.

Cinnamon
Clove
Ginger
Nutmeg
Vanilla beans or extract
Orange peel
Lemon Peel
Lime Peel
Apple slices or juice
Peppermint extract or oil
Dried sage
Dried lavender

Bring the water to a slow boil on the stove or turn the crockpot on high and leave uncovered. Add water as needed and never leave the air freshener unattended. A nice thing about doing this in the winter is that you get the benefits of a humidifier as well. In the summer, the lime and vanilla are awesome. I'd love to hear how this works for you as well as if you have any other ideas to add to the ingredients list.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fall is here, I love this time of year


Well, I think that most of the leaves have fallen, there were so many this year! Jeff has been working in the yard three days a week, mulching, raking, and burning them. We got some pretty big piles and the kids had a lot of fun romping in them. It looked like so much fun in fact that Jeff took a dive into one of the piles and nearly threw his back out. I guess they never grow up.

All the kids are doing great, Taylor made the National Honor Society this 9 weeks and we have her induction ceremony tomorrow night. Dori almost made it, she probably will next 9 weeks. Dori got her braces off, she looks beautiful. They both have been at us to play indoor soccer on a team with a bunch of their friends but we have said no because it is like a slaughter house on the field and they have never played the sport. They have been their cheering squad instead, Dori says that they should get an extra point for their team spirit. Get this, their team name is the Narwhals (unicorns of the sea), you can bet that was their idea. They still made shirts, Dorian's says "Pocahontas" on the back and Taylor's says "Mufasa". They make me laugh. At the last game two of the girls got hurt, one had a concussion and won't be playing anymore this season. I didn't say "I told you so." but hopefully now they know why we didn't want them out there. It shook Taylor up to see her friends get hurt.

Oskar and Josie are great, they pal around all day long. Josie is building her vocabulary and Oskar has learned how to write his name. He is so excited for Christmas all ready, I asked him what his favorite part is and he exclaimed "Every part!" Every Sunday he drools over they toy ads in the paper. He's going to be a mess before Christmas finally gets here. He is having a lot of fun at Sunday school, looks forward to it all week long. I keep Josie with me and she sleeps through most of the service. I'm bewildered at that but don't question it. Oskar was a mess in church when he was little, go figure. I hope to join the choir or at least participate in it for the Christmas season, just have to figure out how I will manage the little ones for two services and all the practice times.

Jeff is still looking for work, some irons in the fire but nothing that we are too hopeful about. I think that the economy is going to take a lot longer to recover than what we are hearing from some of our news sources. We are managing fine though, we still have a lot to be thankful for.

Speaking of thanks, Thanksgiving is next week, can you believe it? I already have our turkey, can't wait to put him/her in the oven. We are planning the meal, pretty traditional like always. Wish we could have more of our friends and family with us, sorry that we are so far apart. Either way, you are all in our hearts. If I don't post again before Thanksgiving, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Remember to say a prayer of thanks for our troops and their families, and pray for their safe return home.

These are some random pics, the turkeys just showed up in mom's yard the other day. They went around the house twice and cleaned all the berries off her holly bushes. Jeff could have shot one as it is turkey season but he didn't have a license. Oh well, I wouldn't want to clean it anyway. The one of Josie in the hat just cracks me up, I wish it didn't come out blurry. Her expression is like, "Yeah! Fiesta!"


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Homecoming

I'm so happy that the girls are settling in so well. It's kind of weird to see them running off to school football games and going to the coffee shop after school, but it's weird in a good way. Tonight was their homecoming and unlike last year, they went solo. Well, with all their girlfriends so not completely solo. I know that there were a couple of invitations from the opposite sex but they were declined. You know, I'm proud of them for seeing that they would have more fun with their friends, minus the stress of a date. They have plenty of time for that, maybe when they are 30 they should start thinking about it. Ha, in my dreams.

Anyway, we didn't spring for new dresses, they wore last years. Dori was fine with hers and Taylor asked me to revamp hers a little. She ended up with an almost completely different dress and was thrilled with it. They both looked beautiful, here's to hoping that they have a fun and safe time.




Monday, September 21, 2009

Little Man turns 4!

Oskar woke up this morning and looked at me with wide eyed amazement and said "Today is my birthday! I'm four today!" Let me tell you, we have been counting down to today for about the last six months. I don't think there was one day where he didn't ask me how old he was. This birthday was rather John Deere themed, as we are surrounded by corn fields, cows, barns and etc. I hope that you enjoy the pictures. We're all doing well here, much dryer than our friends in the south it appears.
video



Monday, July 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Josie!

video
Today was a special day for our little peanut. After all that she has been through it was a very meaningful first Birthday. We didn't have a big celebration, just our little family, minus Taylor, and it was a perfect day. We missed you Taylor! I think she had a good day and she was in bed a half an hour early which surprised me since she had just had a considerable amount of cake and icing. Oskar enjoyed playing with her new toys as much as she did, they had a couple nice little tea parties.

She's not walking yet but she's close. She has a small vocabulary, about five or six words but I think that will be changing very soon. Funny how someone so small can have such a big personality, she takes the cake. I hope you enjoy the pictures and video, she's a treasure.










Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Today has been so much fun already and it's barely halfway over! Our development had a 4th of July Parade for all the little kids to participate in. It was so cute to see them all decked out in red, white and blue. Oskar helped decorate his 4 wheeler and he had a BALL. I pushed Josie in the stroller (our teenager who is at home was still in bed during all this) and it was, well, rather interesting watching Oskar drive that thing through the throngs of other people and their little inexperienced drivers. He was so busy gawking at the onlookers and giving them the thumbs up that he ran that thing up the back of Jeff and my legs more than once. Whee.

Oh well, it was still fun and Josie fell asleep at the very end. Here are some pictures, Taylor if you read this, we miss you!




Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's a Small World After All


Well, Taylor has been gone for 12 days. She will be back in 35. How could you not expect me to know that? Since she has arrived we have received one phone call, less than a minute long, to let us know that she was safely with her host family. We've been getting emails from her almost daily. I have to admit, my anxiety has lessened as I get excited for her and all that she is experiencing.

One of the first things that we learned from her was that her host mother, Mama-san she calls her, was actually a graduate of Political Science from UGA. She spent almost 3 years in Georgia, very close to where my parents live. It's a small world! She says that Mama is very sweet and helpful and has shown her around Yokohama personally. I've also heard from Mariko (mama) via email and she has let me know how she thinks Taylor is doing, what a sweetie she is!

Taylor started school there this week, here is an excerpt from her latest email:

but school is fun. everyone tells me i'm cute. tell dori i went to the pokecenter today, and that i bought her a mudkip. oh, and i took purikura. and had bubble tea. mmmmm
yeah. soooo busy. my feet hurt. we take trains everywhere, but we have to walk to the stations first... and me and emma went to this fancy mall place at the harbor today and walked like, everywhere. my feeeeeet
and host fam is awesome. i kind of like that we speak english. i already love everyone :( when mama took me to school, she gave me a hug before she left and i was like...WAAAAH NO DON'T LEAVE. and the house definitely feels like my home. i miss my futon when i'm tired. and i love talking to amiiiii and i speak japanese at school so it all evens out.

So, it sounds like she is doing great. No, I don't know what a mudkip is, her sister probably does. I asked her what purikura is and she said it's kind of like a Japanese picture booth. Or something. Yeah, the day that my kids finally knew more than me came a long time ago. I've accepted it. Anyway, her host mother emailed me today and said this:

She tries to enjoy her life here. She has strong will to take this opportunity to be valuable. She is very positive and tries everything new to her. I feel she is so generous that she tries not to hurt our feeling. I appreciate her kindness, but I don't want her to get stress of what she doesn't want to. I want her to be honest for her feeling, too. So, I try to care about her health as well as her feeling, hopefully.

I told you that she was sweet. I feel so blessed that she ended up with this host family, it seems to be a perfect match. I know that I will not be getting back the exact same daughter than I sent to Japan, I think that I will be getting back a somewhat changed one, but for her best.

The top picture is from one of her outings with Mariko, they visited a Buddhist Temple and a port on that day and the bottom one is her with all her Japanese goodies (junk food?) that she bought at a convenience store.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Birdie flys from the nest


Today marks the beginning of a remarkable journey for one of my wonderful daughters. She applied for and received a scholarship to be an exchange student for the summer in Japan. Kikkoman (the soy sauce) is the sponsor of her trip, and she will be staying with a family who has a parent that works for Kikkoman. My mind is in a million places at once this morning, I'm so proud of her, I'm so worried about her, I'm so excited for her. Thank God this is not as final as when she will go off to college, I know I'm not ready for that.

Of course I bawled when she left for the airport with her dad this morning but she was dry eyed. Only later did I hear from my husband that she cried when it was time to say goodbye and go through security. Her sister and identical twin will miss her as much as me, they are like one person sometimes. It was a rough morning for her as well, but we will get through it and start getting excited to hear about all of the adventures her twin is going to have.

I'll try to add updates about her trip, I'm crossing my fingers for some pictures. The photo at the top of this post is of both of them, the one in the purple is the one who is traveling this summer. The picture is from homecoming. The one at the bottom of the post is of them with their date, which they shared. Yes, shared. Let me just end by saying, I'm going to miss her something awful and can't wait until she is home again, safe and sound.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The twins turn 16, where did the time go?

Today is a big day for the girls, they are 16! We're so proud of them, they are amazing girls. Their heads are full of driving lessons and first jobs and meanwhile mine clings to the fact that they are only turning 16, not 18. "At least they are not 18!", I tell myself. Thank God there is a 17 before 18 because I don't think that I could handle it if they were going to turn 18 next year.

They had a small birthday party this weekend. We went to one of the nicer malls here, and they trekked around with their friends. I was a little apprehensive about taking seven teenagers to the mall but it went without incident. Well, actually there was one small one. We were in a store that sold clothing and home goods, a rather eclectic little place. I'm just moseying around looking at all the expensive stuff and when I look to check on the kids I notice that they are all making a beeline for the door, like fast. So I walk out too, and I ask "What's going on?" Amid all the giggles, one of them tells me that they set all the kitchen timers in the store to go off at the same time. About 30 seconds later we hear all these bells clanging and they are in fits of laughter. I was halfway between being annoyed and wishing I thought of it myself.

Here are a few pictures. You may notice little man in them, he actually blew out their candles before they could the first time so we had to relight them and start over. What a turkey.



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Just was looking at pictures on the girls mac and found these in photo booth...had no idea that they had taken them. Had a few laughs anyway, silly kids.